Belfast Telegraph

I’m going nowhere, says Portadown boss Ronnie McFall

By Frank Brownlow

Ronnie McFall will remain in charge of Portadown despite unrest and imminent upheaval in the Shamrock Park boardroom.

McFall’s future was thrown into doubt after 25 years as boss when Portadown shareholders on Tuesday night rejected proposals from director Yalcin Cubuk, a Turkish-born businessman, to take over as chairman of the club.

McFall (pictured), also a director and shareholder at Shamrock Park, had backed the Cubuk bid.

Cubuk had pledged to bring in fresh investment to the club which has debts totalling over £1m, including £810,000 owed to former chairman Roy McMahon’s business Met Steel. McMahon and vice chairman David Jameson stepped down from their positions on the board in June but could yet return to the helm.

There had been fears McFall’s favouring of the proposed new regime could affect his standing with whoever takes over now — or that he could even walk away from his home town club. McFall has been in charge since December 1986 — just one month after Sir Alex Ferguson took over at Manchester United — and a well placed Portadown source last night revealed that Ulster’s longest serving manager has no intention of stepping down.

The Portadown source said: “Speculation that Ronnie's future could be in doubt as a result of the boardroom problems is wide of the mark.

“He will still be the manager when all this is over.

“He'd never walk away from Portadown and, regardless of who becomes chairman, his value to the club is one thing all concerned are agreed upon.

“Some debts can be repaid but not the kind owed to Ronnie for what he's done for his home town club down the years.

“To many, he is Portadown Football Club.”

McFall has brought unprecedented success to Portadown in his 25 years in the hotseat, including four Irish League titles and three Irish Cup triumphs.

The club has an uncertain future unless it can convince the Irish FA that current administrative problems are resolved — there are just four board members in place, one fewer than required.

The club has said an alternative board will be put in place to secure its immediate future and an AGM has been called for August 30. The club’s supporters have also formed a grouping called Portadown Concerned Fans to address the current problems.

Belfast Telegraph


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